Two years after the tsunami that devastated the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear station in Japan, Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. continues to work on the site cleanup.
The nuclear waste company began a year ago to help deal with radioactively contaminated water. Its main role: helping to design, install and operate a system that decontaminates water to meet the Japanese government's strict safety standards.
"We're hopeful other technologies that we have will be instrumental in other phases of the cleanup," said company spokesman Mark Walker, commenting on an overall cleanup program with an estimated cost of more than $125 billion and timetable of four decades.
More than 20,000 people died in the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, and a large swath of land surrounding the nuclear plant has been evacuated ever since.
EnergySolutions also has used its Advanced Liquid Processing System decontamination technology as part of the Hanford nuclear cleanup in Washington state.
In Japan, it is being used to remove up to 60 radionuclides from the seawater used to cool the power plant's reactors as they were melting down. The initial contract was to treat about 132,500 gallons of contaminated water per day.
In September, EnergySolutions entered the second phase of its multi-million-dollar contract with Toshiba Corp., which oversees the cleanup for the plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co.
"Our people have risen to the unique challenges faced at Fukushima and are delivering our world-leading technology in support of this crucial task," said Mark Morant, president of EnergySolutions' Global Commercial Group, when the second contract was announced. "We now look forward to assisting in its successful operation and moving the site towards its ultimate remediation."